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Friday, 28thSeptember 2012 – Speaking at the Eurofinas Conference before an audience of around 150 industry leaders gathered in Cannes, France (11-12 October 2012), Lynne Walker, Senior Vice President, Technology and Operations with Genworth (NYSE: GNW) one of the world’s largest providers of lifestyle protection insurance, urged the insurance industry to rally around a cultural change to focus on the end-customer of its products.
“It’s not about a superficial set of changes, but rather a fundamental step-change in approach that’s now required to put the end-customer at the heart of the design and operating process; specifically focusing on reducing customer effort in order to create high customer confidence that’s more sustainable in the long term”, she explained.
Based on her experience in the PC technology sector, most recently at PC giant Dell, Walker drew a parallel between the insurance industry and other customer-facing sectors, including telecoms and retail, where valuable lessons could be learned by the insurance sector.
“There are many examples of industries where competitive pressures drive over commoditisation and standardisation, with players chasing each other down a cost and price curve. Margins get slimmer and consumer choice and service can suffer. But ultimately what customers care about are quality, usability, value and having confidence in the product or service they are buying more than just features and price. Customer knowledge and customer needs must redefine what success looks like and those organisations that move in this direction will emerge as the new market leaders,” said Walker.
Recognising that the customer has to move centre stage, Walker insisted there was still time for the insurance industry to change.
“Our focus is all about improving the overall customer experience. And we are starting to make real progress here by implementing changes that reduce customer effort in the claims process; using the on-line channel to provide choice and ease of use; speeding up interactions by eliminating steps and using plain, straightforward language everywhere. We are redefining the industry standards for managing and measuring claims through the eyes of the customers,” she added.
Referring to research published in the Harvard Business Review, Walker told delegates that when it comes to service, companies create loyal customers by reducing their effort and helping them solve any problem they may have quickly and easily,” concluded Walker.
Notes to Editors
- In Europe our Lifestyle Protection business is headquartered in London and expands across over 20 European countries, as well as Mexico, Colombia and China.
- Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman, Harvard Business Review, July 2010
Public Relations for Genworth Financial
Tel: +44 208 380 2080 / + 44 7971 142 233
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company dedicated to helping people secure their financial lives, families and futures. Genworth has leadership positions in offerings that assist consumers in protecting themselves, investing for the future and planning for retirement -- including life insurance, long term care insurance, financial protection coverages, and independent advisor-based wealth management -- and mortgage insurance that helps consumers achieve home ownership while assisting lenders in managing their risk and capital.
Genworth has approximately 6,500 employees and operates through three divisions: Insurance and Wealth Management, which includes U.S. Life Insurance, Wealth Management and International Protection segments; Global Mortgage Insurance, which includes U.S. and International Mortgage Insurance segments; and the Corporate and Runoff division. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, Inc., which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit genworth.com. From time to time, Genworth Financial, Inc. releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of genworth.com